ASTRA Central and Eastern European Women’s Network for Sexual and Reproductive Rights and Health

Sep 16 2014

September 28 Global Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion forms part of the campaign activities undertaken by International Campaign for Women’s Right to Safe Abortion, that aims to build an international movement to promote universal access to safe, legal abortion as a women’s health and human rights issue. As part of the International Campaign Advisory Group, Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights leads the coordination of September 28 annual campaigning activities, conducted by Campaign and WGNRR members, as well as allies and partners around the world, including ASTRA Network.

September 28 has been a regional campaign for decriminalisation of abortion in Latin America and Caribbean for nearly twenty years before being taken on by SRHR activists all over the world as a Global Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion in 2011.

While in the past few years we used a broad approach in developing the Call for Action for September 28, focusing on access to safe and
legal abortion in general, this year it was agreed to specifically focus on addressing abortion stigma as one of the main obstacles towards
ensuring the availability and accessibility of comprehensive abortion services.

There are several ways to become involved.

1. Join the September 28 Global Tweet-a-thon!

2. Speak out against #AbortionStigma through the September 28 Virtual Mural 2.0.

3. Sign up for the September 28 Thunderclap and click SUPPORT

4. Endorse the September 28 Manifesto

5. Organize a happening, street/awareness raising action, public hearing or anything other related to the issue of access to safe and legal abortion and abortion stigma. All events, can be submitted directly to WGNRR here.

Federation for Women and Family, Polish ASTRA member, contributed to the September 28 virtual mural by creating a short film on abortion stigma, please see it on You Tube HERE. Macedonian member organization, H.E.R.A., is planning to host a press conference on 28th September with an objective to promote the new national gender platform with special focus on abortion rights that has been recently created. All actions to be held on or around this day can be viewed HERE.


Sep 09 2014

Updated version of Center for Reproductive Rights toolkit "Whose Right to Life?: Women’s Rights and Prenatal Protections under Human Rights and Comparative Law."

The right to life is a fundamental human right, central to the enjoyment of all other human rights. International human rights law recognizes this basic right begins at birth, and international and regional human rights bodies, as well as courts worldwide, have clearly established that any prenatal protections must be consistent with women’s human rights. An emerging trend to extend a right to life before birth, and in particular from conception, poses a significant threat to women’s human rights, in theory and in practice. These efforts, often rooted in ideological and religious motivations, are part of a deliberate attempt to deny women the full range of reproductive health services that are essential to safeguarding women’s fundamental rights to life, health, dignity, equality, and autonomy, among others. These attempts to grant a right to life before birth—and therefore recognize prenatal legal personhood—seek to bestow rights on a zygote, embryo, or fetus that would be equal or superior to the rights of women. In many cases, these measures aim to outlaw any procedure that terminates a pregnancy. In other cases, these attempts have sought to justify restrictions on access to in vitro fertilization and contraception. Across the board, these strategies attempt to deny women the ability to make autonomous decisions regarding their fertility with complete disregard for women’s basic human rights.

There are a number of steps that States can and should take to promote a legitimate interest in prenatal life while respecting women’s fundamental rights. This updated toolkit, which includes recent court decisions and interpretive guidance from human rights bodies, analyzes how States can meet their international human rights obligations as they seek to protect the value of prenatal life. The toolkit sets forth international and comparative legal standards for interpreting right to life protections. It also identifies how relevant human rights, public health, and scientific evidence supports legal protections to guarantee women’s rights as a crucial step in protecting the right to life and ensuring the health and well-being of women and their children.

Download the complete toolkit to learn more.

Sep 08 2014

New facthseet by UNFPA focuses on young people and challenges they face in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

The Eastern Europe and Central Asia region has undergone intensive political, economic, and social transformations over the past decade, opening up new opportunities for people under the age of 25, who make up 22 per cent of the region’s population. But the pace and nature of change has also left adolescents (ages 10-19) and youth (ages 15-24) highly vulnerable to poverty; unemployment; health issues, including those related to sexual and reproductive health; and political disenfranchisement. Commitment to the development and promulgation of policies to address the needs of young people (all those ages 10-24) varies widely across the region, with ideological, political, and resource issues all coming into play.

This publication provides a brief overview of the key issues of concern regarding young people in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, UNFPA's work in the region, and priorities for the future.

Access it HERE.

Aug 28 2014

The latest issue of ASTRA Bulletin which covers July and August is now available. Read about all the latest SRHR related news, events and publications!

The 134th issue of ASTRA bulletin is available HERE.

Aug 27 2014

Thirty Five Albanian all-party parliamentary group members attended a round table on an alternative report on SRHR in the country. ACPD, the Albanian APPG Secretariat and ASTRA member, drafted the report and organised the meeting, which was also attended by the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Welfare and Youth, Institute of Public Health and NGOs. Member of Parliament, Valentina Leskaj had encouraged Albanian Center for Population and Development to initiate the compilation of the report and also contributed to setting out the main structure of the report. The report addresses many aspects of SRHR, including the relatively high rates of maternal and infant mortality. Only 11% of sexually active women who wish to avoid pregnancy use modern means of contraception, contributing to high rates of abortion.

Source: European Parliamentary Forum

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